Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Saffron Rouge Inner Circle May 2014 Review

One of my favourite things about Inner Circle is that it gets to me so quickly. I live only a half-day away from the shipping facility, so I always get my package within a few days of it being shipped!

Saffron Rouge Inner Circle has been great since the start of my subscription -- that said, this is only my third box. Let's see if it keeps a streak going. This time around, the products came wrapped in some polka dot tissue paper instead of a mesh drawstring bag. Hmm, not the greatest start. I really liked those bags for storage purposes.

First look
Box Overview
Box: Saffron Rouge Inner Circle
Price: $24.99 per month
Ships to: Canada, US International
What's inside: Organic beauty products, a mix of full-size and samples

Primavera Calming Moisture Cream 8mL/0.27fl oz || Estimated value: $11.88
Beneficial ingredients of note:jojoba oil (second ingredient), shea butter, many other various oils and flower extracts, willow bark extract, aloe
Detrimental ingredients of note: fragrance (halfway through ingredients list), citral & limonene (all at end of ingredients list)
One ounce of this cream is a whopping $44, making this teeny sample nearly $12. This is thanks to the huge ingredients list jam-packed with oils and extracts. This face cream is made for those with sensitive skin. I hesitate to recommend this to all people with sensitive skin due to the fragrance (from essential oils) and the citral/limonene (citrus enzymes which can cause contact dermatitis in some when exposed to light).

That said, I tried this on the side of my nose and my jawline, my most sensitive spots. Neither reacted in any negative way. The cream itself was a touch difficult to spread evenly, as it streaked slightly. I was not a fan of how it made my skin feel. It felt sort of tacky and not smooth. I also found that it pilled easily on my face, but not at all on my arm, for whatever reason. I give this product an "OK". It will be nice on days where my skin is very sensitive.

Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel (unknown volume) || Value of full-size (4oz): $60; Estimated value: $4
Beneficial ingredients of note: Aloe vera gel, witch hazel?, vitamin B and C complexes
Detrimental ingredients of note: See below
The main ingredient of this gel beyond the aloe vera and witch hazel base is organically grown grape alcohol. As well, many various herbs are blended in, but I was unable to find out if these are the actual herbs or herbal oils. The ingredients list on this product is vague, saying things like "also added are 100% pure essential oils". Citrus? Mint? Who knows?

I couldn't find much information on grape alcohol, because as you can guess, most of my searches resulted in wine suggestions or alchemy/witchcraft websites. I'm understandably hesitant at the idea of putting something so close to wine (especially when the website describes it as "drinkable") anywhere on my skin. I still tested a bit of in on my skin, and saw no real difference either way.

Lily Lolo Lip Gloss: Scandalips Full size || Value: $15.98
Beneficial ingredients of note: vitamin E, jojoba oil, castor oil
Detrimental ingredients of note: aroma
This picture didn't turn out great. Check it out here! The colour is a light pink with a touch of shimmer. I'm not a fan of lip gloss, so this is going into the trade pile. I do like how it smells like chocolate, though.

Alima Pure Luminous Shimmer Eye Shadow: Hellebore Full size || Value: $12.50
Beneficial ingredients of note: none
Detrimental ingredients of note: none 
This eyeshadow is as pure as can get, with no fillers. While I supremely appreciate this, I already have a gold-rose eyeshadow! Moreover, my other one is pressed, which is much easier for a newbie to makeup like me. I guess I can keep this around, though.

Mai Couture W3ll People Hedonist Bronzer: #52 1.5g/0.05oz || Estimated value: $5.47
Beneficial ingredients of note: none
Detrimental ingredients of note: none
This bronzer, much like the eyeshadow, contains only what is necessary. This is actually my first bronzer, and my first experiment with it for this blog did NOT end up well! But I swear that this is only due to my own inexperience with loose powders. I think I will need to move this to a wider container for my clunky brush handling skills. Powder. Everywhere.

red flower Orange Quince Steam Room Mist 8.9mL/0.3fl oz || Estimated value: $3.37
Beneficial ingredients of note: quince nut oil, rose oil
Detrimental ingredients of note: pink grapefruit oil (third ingredient), orange oil, lemon extract, lemon oil (last ingredient)
I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that this was a room mist, and not a body mist. Then I read the packaging which instructed me to mist all over my face and body and my sigh quickly turned to one of frustration. This is basically another Lotus Wei mist! Click the link to see my long rant about that.

This claims to:
-be a toner: yes, because the citrus oils lower the pH of the skin, as toners are supposed to do
-be a gentle peel: gentle is subjective. Because it is acidic, it can peel off the skin, yes.
-brighten mind energy: I don't think so. But if someone wants to explain to me how my mind can literally brighten, please do!
-rid the skin of excess sebaceous toxins: sebaceous glands are the glands in your skin that express sebum, the skin's natural oil. They do not excrete toxins. Sebum is very important to the skin's health, though some have too much sebum a.k.a. oily skin. It is still not a toxin.
-be anti-oxidizing and nutrient-rich, brightening dull skin: true, due to the enzymes in some of the oils contained, this mist contains vitamins A, B, and C which can brighten the skin (vitamin C, especially).
-stimulate circulation to remove impurities from the skin's surface: a misting of oils is not going to stimulate circulation, and circulation stimulation will not remove impurities from the skin's surface.
-tighten pores: without going into too much detail on the biology of pores, I highly doubt this will tighten them any more than any other product that claims to tighten pores.
-recharge with a dose of concentrated oxygen to brighten the complexion: OXYGEN IS WHAT CAUSES AGING. I CANNOT BELIEVE TH -- sorry, sorry. Why did they think that this was a good advertising message? Did they not remember that antioxidants are one of the most important skin care ingredients at the moment?
-counteract depression, anxiety: as someone who suffers from depression and anxiety, I resent the idea that aromatherapy can somehow cure my mental illness. Aromatherapy can help relax some people, but this is a big claim.

Altogether, this $25 box got me a $53.20 value, a low value for Inner Circle which often hits values of $70 and up. However, I don't really care for any of these items. I'm definitely not using the mist or lip gloss. I'm hesitant on the soothing gel. The cream is only okay, and I would only use it in specific instances. I have a gold-flecked rose eyeshadow already. The bronzer is the only item that I'm legitimately interested to try out. Thus, this month's Inner Circle was a dud for me. Maybe next time?


  1. I loved your comments on the ingredients! I do not like red Ocean as a brand because they seem so... disconnected from science. I'm disappointed that there is two mists in a row. This will be my second box (when it gets here) and I have a sneaking suspicion my thoughts will coincide with yours. /sigh I like natural products but I like *smart* natural products with effective ingredients and without ridiculous claims about blocking negative tensions with special mistings of your office space.

    1. Thank you! I feel the same way about the majority of Inner Circle's brands. Even Dr. Hauschka, a dermatologist, uses plenty of fragrances and citrus oils in his products.

      Some uses I've found for the mists: as a regular room deodorizer, on the inner side of pillow cases for aromatic purposes, on the outside of clothes as perfume/refreshers, as cat repellent (most cats hate citrus). I'm almost certain I could use these as cleaning liquids for glass objects, but I haven't tried yet.

      As a "scientist in training" (bio major), I hate pseudoscience in all of its variants. I'm glad you feel the same way!

  2. i loooooove the lip gloss! smells AMAZING and i was surprised to actually like the colour on me.

    i love getting makeup, so the eyeshadow and bronzer made me happy as well. haven't tried either yet, but at the very least i'll like the eyeshadow. bronzers can be a tough one for me because of my skintone (pale and cool), as they're usually either too dark or too orange. this one looks okay as an all-over bronzer, not for contouring. a sifter would've been nice for a bit more control.

    i'm picky about scents, so i'm not sure how much i'll use the mist (much like the lotus wei last month).

    i'll keep the soothing gel for when i get sunburns, and i haven't tried the moisture cream yet.

    1. I have very prominent lips and really prefer toning them down, so I'm not one for lip gloss or lip stick (I prefer tints as they're more subtle). But man oh man, if that lip gloss was a food...

      I really want to play with the bronzer, but there's just such a small sample that I'd hate to waste it. I think it's okay with my skin tone (medium & yellow), but I have no idea since it's my first real bronzer.

      If you've got cats, I've found that the mists are useful to repel them away from things, since cats hate citrus. Hasn't exactly kept mine from playing around with things he shouldn't, but he's a little bit more wary, at least. I wasn't a fan of this one's scent, though. Not sure why, but a lot of Inner Circle's products remind me of old Asian remedies I had to take when I was a kid when I was sick. Not exactly relaxing.

      The moisture cream was actually quite nice, despite peeling. I had a big reaction on my jawline the other day, very red and warm. I feel that the moisture cream did help significantly at reducing the pain. It still pilled a LOT, though. Small price to pay for relief, I suppose.